Following its filing of insolvency, Alpari UK’s business was transferred to KPMG under the Special Administration Regime (SAR). KPMG was to supervise the case, handle returning of customer funds and act as a central point in any third-party acquisition discussion. Adding to its initial letter to clients, KPMG published a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and comments about Swiss franc execution.
Within the FAQ, KPMG addresses the question of negative balances. According to the special administrator, clients with negative balances will we asked to cover their debts with the broker, with payment details forthcoming.
In addition, KPMG published that in its review of trade executions among clients, they have found what they call “certain inconsistencies in the pricing of trades” after the SNB announcement on Thursday January 15th.
They added that “any account statements or information provided by other means received by Clients and Creditors after the SNB announcement may not accurately represent a Client’s or Creditor’s balance.” This seems to indicate that customers may be vulnerable to repricing of their trade executions to closer resemble market prices when the Swiss franc began to move.
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Whether any trade adjustments will negatively affect customers is yet to be determined. It has already been claimed by numerous retail brokers that execution quality from banks following the SNB’s announcement was poor and resulted in trades filled at prices well below that of EBS. As such, if this was the case with Alpari UK customers, the KPMG Special Administrator may be able to source better executions for traders affected by the franc’s strength. Results of their execution analysis will be made public after the trade review process is finalized.
In regards to customers who only had cash balances with the broker before the SNB’s announcement, KPMG expects their accounts to be reviewed more quickly, which may allow them to receive withdrawal disbursements sooner than clients who had been trading.
On the heels of the earlier Q&A, KPMG has released a statement confirming that Alpari UK’s clientele will be responsible for bearing any negative balances. The verdict represents a bitter finality for clients, especially given the uncertain future facing Alpari UK.